My Wish Has Been Granted! Another Year of Halloween Costume Fun with My Daughter: Aladdin Style!

 

For the past five years, my daughter and I’ve been dressing up for Halloween in “matching” costumes. When Quinn was two, she was Doc McStuffins, and I was Lambie. At three, she was an astronaut, and I was her rocket. At four, she was Snow White, and I was the Evil Queen. Just last year, she was a magical fairy princess, and I was a magical princess mermaid.

This year, we decided on two costumes. The first one, that we wore at Sesame Place and Boot at the Zoo, was dressing up like her American Girl doll, Luciana, which was a lot of fun. Our second set of costumes were inspired by the Aladdin movie. Quinn dressed as Princess Jasmine donning a beautiful fuchsia outfit we purchased at Target in the kids clothing section back in May, not the Halloween costume section, along with a long flowing ponytail with gold clips that we got from Amazon for $19.99. For her footwear, she already had a pair of gold sneakers for comfort.

At first I was going to be Princess Jasmine’s mother, but then Quinn suggested that I dress up as the genie, which I thought was a fantastic idea. Though it was tricky finding the costume, since the genie is a male character, I was able to locate one from Amazon that I really liked. It looked good on me, but was very thin.

So I decided to use my creativity and piece together my own costume. I ordered royal blue harem pants from Amazon for $15.99. They are actually good quality and have a comfortable fit. The light blue wrap shirt also came from Amazon for $15.99 as well, and it is nice enough to wear regular, not just for a costume. Since it is a little thin for this time of the year, I paired it with a royal blue tank top I already had to wear underneath. For the gold wrist cuffs and red satin sash, I actually purchase fabric from Joanne Fabrics and got to work using my sewing machine. Believe or not, it took my less than a half hour to do both. Then, I topped it off with a dark blue ponytail wig I also purchased from Amazon for $22.99 since I figured it would be a bit too much to paint my face and body blue. I actually like the way it looks and find it to be good quality and not like the wigs one might find at a local Halloween or party shop. I can see myself using it for other events in the future.

Having “matching” costumes with my daughter is something we both look forward to and makes one of my wishes come true. It strengthens our mother/daughter bond and puts smiles on both of our faces as we have a great time together. Though Halloween won’t be here for a few days, we’re already looking forward to what we’ll be for next year.

All the best,

Tanya

 

Spending Time with My “Boos” at the Zoo!

At least five Woodys! Plenty of super heroes from Iron Man to Spider Man to Superman, the Incredibles and anyone else you can think of! Plenty of princesses, unicorns and even a family dressed as the characters from Wizard of Oz. No, this wasn’t a costume party but the absolutely fun Halloween event held annually at the Philadelphia Zoo: Boo at the Zoo!

This makes the sixth year that my daughter and I have attended and the second year that we’ve met up with our relatives for some “cousin” fun along with my mother. We arrived at 9am (The zoo opens at 9:30am but allowed members to enter as early a 8:30am), and while the day started off rather chilly, the weather was perfect as the day progressed. The sun was shining the entire time, and we were even able to unbutton our jackets as the light breeze blew. In between seeing the lions, tigers, giraffes and plenty other animals (who were all out and about today), Quinn and her cousins eagerly ran to the different stations to trick or treat for tasty sweets and did different crafts while admiring the costumes of the other children and adults in passing.

Spending time with my extended family, seeing the smiles on the girls’ faces, hearing their laughter and simply feeling their joy truly puts a smile on my face. If you’re looking for a fun and safe event for your child or children and live near Philadelphia, “Boo at the Zoo” is perfect! You get to dress up, get sweet treats, and do fun activities all while seeing animals.

All the best,

Tanya

Mother & Daughter Bond: Observing the Beautiful Relationship of Celestial Bodies

 

“You two look super cute!” a little girl said. “Oh my God! I just love it!” a woman exclaimed.” Another lady with her sons remarked, “I just love your matching celestial dresses! I wish I had a little girl so that we could dress alike too!” Yesterday, my six year old and I went to Sesame Place for the Count’s Halloween Spooktacular with my sister-in-law and nieces. Since my daughter and I both love dressing up for Halloween, we didn’t pass up the opportunity to wear something special for the occasion. We saw a few super heroes, princesses and even PJ Masks characters, but no one was wearing our “special” costumes, which we decided on months ago.

Last year, for Christmas, Quinn got her first American Girl doll, Luciana, who was the girl of the year for 2018 and aspires to be an astronaut. So when I asked her what she wanted to wear, she thought it would be cool if we both dressed up like Luciana and wore celestial dresses and red waist bags.

First, I visited the American Girl website to price the dress and then headed to Amazon where I found a dress for Quinn and me with the combined prices cheaper than the price for one child-sized dress. I even found the red waist bags through Amazon too! We received so many compliments on our matching outfits as Quinn proudly held Luciana in her arms for a few pictures.

The smiles and kind words from strangers made me think of Quinn and me as celestial bodies that people observe in awe and intrigued by our mother/daughter bond. While many more milestones and memorable moments may be light-years away, I am grateful in knowing that the stars aligned for Quinn to be my daughter causing a feeling of hope and happiness that’s totally out of this world!

All the best,

Tanya

What Do You Call a Fairy & and Mermaid? Mommy and Daughter Halloween Fun!

Halloween is such a fun time of year not just for my daughter but for me too. What makes it extra fun is the strengthening of our mommy/daughter bond. Since she was two, she began picking out a costume not just for herself but for me too. She’s been Doc McStuffins, and I’ve been Lambie. When she was three, she was an astronaut, and I was her rocket. Last year, she was Snow White, and I was the Evil Queen. This year, she decided to be a fairy and asked me to be a mermaid with a similar color scheme: purple as her favorite color and blue as my favorite color. I thought to myself, what a great idea! She’s already thinking about next year wanting to be a princess so that I can be her unicorn, and I love it!

I feel like dressing up together, going to parties, special events and trick or treating brings out the best in us both and brings us closer together. Sometimes, life just gets so hectic, and work even gets stressful, so I thank my daughter for allowing me to just have fun and enjoy life as different characters. Here’s to a happy fun-filled Halloween. Time with my daughter is the ultimate treat!

Scary Pancake Fun: Counting Candy Corns

Just about every Friday, my family goes to IHOP, one of my daughter’s favorite restaurants to have breakfast for dinner. This time of year, however, is extra special because the scary pancake face it added to the menu for Halloween. It comes with two miniature Oreo cookies for the eyes, a strawberry for the nose, candy corn for the teeth and whipped cream too.

A couple of weeks ago when the Scary Pancake appeared on the menu, my daughter was very excited to order it but when the pancake and its toppings to create the scary face arrived, Quinn looked intently at the picture then at the container with the candy corn. “Wait a minute! The picture shows seven candy corn and even has some left in the container on the side, but mine only came with five!” she exclaimed.

Ever since my daughter was a baby, she’s always been inquisitive and attentive. As she’s gotten older, I’ve notice how exacting and observant she is, and I love it! I asked, “What would you like to do? Do you want to inform the server?” She shook her head but then whispered to me as she saw him walk by, “Can you tell him please, Mommy?” Upon letting him know my five year old’s observation, he came back with about ten more candy corns, smiled and apologized to Quinn for not bring out the right amount. She was so happy. My husband then jokingly brought to her attention that she now had more than the picture was displaying. So she quickly gobbled up some of the candy corn and then said, “Now it’s the same amount as the picture!”

I love how there are so many opportunities in life for learning experiences. My daughter practiced her counting skills, used some critical thinking and even took the initiative to rectify an error in the amount of her candy corn.

All the best,

Tanya

My Little Pumpkin at the Patch: Fun at Shadybrook Farm

Though she struggled and let out a little grunt, my daughter’s eyes were filled with joy as she attempted to carry her huge pumpkin she selected with her daddy. After searching for about fifteen minutes or so, she beamed and said, “That’s the one I want!” It sure was a big one, much larger than the ones she’s selected in the past few years. Since Quinn was one years old we’ve been taking her to Shadybrook Farm to pick out a special pumpkin to decorate and to have a little autumn fun. It’s now a four year tradition we all look forward to doing, and yesterday was no different.

Even though there was major overcast and cloud coverage, the weather was perfect: not too cold and not too hot with the sun peeking through the clouds on occasion. We enjoyed the hayride, and this year Quinn eagerly navigated through the pumpkin patch with a pep in her step alongside her dad, nana and me not too far behind her. After selecting her pumpkin, we enjoyed some treats, did many of the activities and headed home ready to decorate our pumpkins.

Yes, we could have simply went to the local grocery store to get a pumpkin, but having this family tradition and experiencing family togetherness is definitely a better and far more memorable experience.

If you live in the Philadelphia area near or in Bucks County, I urge you to consider taking your family to Shadybrook Farm to not only pick your pumpkins but your apples too at a nominal fee. We actually paid half priced by bringing in non-perishable canned goods. There’s so much to do for children and adults of all ages. I’m sure you’ll have a great time just like my family does every year.

All the best,

Tanya

Happy Halloween: Ready for Take-off with My Little Astronaut!

During the early summer, my little girl proclaimed, “I’m going to be an astronaut for Halloween!” Like most children, I figured she’d change her mind, especially since Halloween was about a half year away, but each time I’d ask, she’d say, “I want to be an astronaut, Mommy! I want to be an astronaut when I grow up!” Finding her costume was no problem, but figuring out what I was going to be as our family theme was a bit tricky.

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A Quick Selfie with My Little Astronaut before Trick or Treating

Last year, she was Doc McStuffins, and I was Lambie, so I wanted to keep with the idea of not wearing the east costumes but having them be related. I thought about being an alien that my three year old encountered. Then I considered being a planet. As I mentioned it to my mom around August, she said, “How about being a rocket?!””A rocket!” I pondered. I really liked the idea. After getting the “thumbs up” from my daughter, I immediately started looking for costumes and ideas. Unfortunately, I came up empty with finding an adult-size rocket costume, so I put my creative skills to the test again, as I did last year with my Lambie costume, and decided to make a rocket dress.

 

I purchased the silver fabric and tulle from Joann Fabric, using 20 percent off coupons, of course and then watched a few youtube videos on making a basic dress. Then it occurred to me, “Why not use one of my maxi dresses as a template for creating the dress pattern” Even though I sewed the dress by hand, having the template from my maxi dress worked out perfectly and made the process much easier and quicker.

To create the flame, I used a combination of red, yellow and orange tulle and fabric, interchanging the colors and materials on an one fourth inch elastic band. Once that part was done, I used a hot glue gun to attach it to the dress. I was able to get the NASA logo online and print it on iron-on paper for the dress.

The next step was making a pointed hat as the rocket tip using some of the excess silver fabric. I was able to use some poster board I had from a previous project and opened up a party hat from Quinn’s birthday to get an idea of how I should cut and form the hat. Once that was done, I hot glued and stapled the fabric to the poster board then added blue rhinestones to sell out “USA.”

Even though the design of them was fun and easy to construct, making the wings was more tricky than I anticipated because I had to account for my body measurement to make the straps the appropriate size. I though elastic would work but found that the velcro straps I used to adhere them kept detaching. After giving it some thought, I decided to start all over and used overall fasteners so that the straps could be adjustable as needed. This worked out perfectly.

While designing and putting together this costume took a lot of thought, time and effort, I’m happy with the end result because it put a smile on Quinn’s face! We attended a party of the weekend, and many people loved our complementary costumes. My little girl even commented, “You’re my rocket because I’m the astronaut, Mommy!” Though she meant this literally, it can also be applied figuratively. Even when she is controlling her own destination, I am always willing to be the vehicle or means to help her reach to the moon, stars and beyond.

It was awesome to receive several compliments on our costumes and to big a “kid” again with my little girl trick or treating this evening. Our Halloween this year is out of this world!

All the best,

Tanya